Carrie Newcomer

Carrie Newcomer. Photo by Shiv Ahuja


“There’s a lot of redemption in Carrie’s songs, and a lot of hope, which is exactly what Amethyst brings to a person suffering from addiction,” says Frank Kerker, chairman of the Amethyst House fundraising committee. He’s speaking about Carrie Newcomer, headliner for Shadows to Light, a concert benefiting Amethyst House on September 21 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. “We thought it was a wonderful pairing,” he adds.

Amethyst House has two residential facilities that house 20 men and 11 women with drug and alcohol addiction and problem-gambling issues. The not-for-profit organization also serves more than 400 people through outpatient services, working to support people in all stages of recovery and to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction.

Newcomer was approached by Amethyst to do the concert. “Amethyst House provides such an important service to the community,” she says. “Substance abuse and recovery is an issue that often stays hidden or unacknowledged. This benefit is a way to support those in recovery and their families, as well as raise community awareness of the services and help available at Amethyst House. This is a concert about hope, healing, and raising awareness.”

After Joe O’Connell and Kate Long open the show, Newcomer will share the stage with writer Scott Russell Sanders as they debut two new song/story collaborations. Then Newcomer and accompanist Gary Walters will perform a full concert.

The Newcomer/Sanders collaboration arises from a piece they are preparing for the Environmental Education Association of Indiana. Sanders was inspired by the work of Vermont-based photographer Peter Forbes. He selected 50 of his photos and wrote a series of “fables” in response. He shared some of these with Newcomer, who then wrote songs inspired by the fables. During the concert, Forbes’ photos will be projected while Newcomer and Sanders perform.

“I believe that in the unfolding story of addiction and recovery, there has been an unhealthy way of being in the world,” says Newcomer. “The spirit is divided and not whole, mistakes are made. But in recovery, the daily work of healing begins, relationships can mend, the self can become whole.”

Bloom Magazine is the presenting sponsor for the concert. Tickets are $20 (Upper Balcony), $25 (Preferred Seating), and $100 (VIP) and available at the BCT Box Office.